Inspiration

We wanted to build an easy way to know various places and events happening on campus. Although there exists a image-based virtual tour and calendar in UTD mobile app, it is still difficult to locate a particular event or place around the campus. We wanted users to be able to see exactly where they want to go.

What it does

It shows all events and places around the campus in the form of cards anchored over a video feed. So users can see particular places or events happening in realtime, super-imposed over real life at the location itself. The app also shows the distance to that event/place. There are filters for showing only events, only places, or even searching for a particular item.

How we built it

We used Unity3D to create tags and MapBox for geo-tagging. The data is stored on a nodejs server running MongoDB. The DB contains items with their locations, including start and end times for events. Alexa is used for voice-based searching as well.

Challenges we ran into

We were not able to fully integrate Alexa into our app. It was complex to understand how to link the Alexa SDK within our app, and interact with it over json input/output. We finally tried to deeplink search to the alexa app.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to design the item cards, using custom components, fixed to dynamic gps coordinates, get the dynamic distance, make them rotate to always face to camera etc Understanding the Mapbox SDK for unity also took a lot of time.

What we learned

Learned about ARCore on unity3D, and using mapbox for geo-tagging. Alexa has to be used with voice utterances, and needs a SDK to be able to use within an app.

What's next for AlexAR

It can be used for any campus or corporate office, to locate events, places, rooms etc Data only needs to be changed on the server

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